I used both Matlab and Fortran in school. I would say that Matlab is more C like in it's syntax, and considerably easier to write number crunching code. I remember having to write subroutines in Fortran that were merely a function call in Matlab, granted, several of the Matlab toolboxes were available to me, but I had to wrtite everything from scratch in Fortran.
I think that's why schools are still teaching Fortran, they are actually teaching numerical methods, not just programming, at least in the engineering programs. In fact, Numerical Methods was the title of my first Fortran class.